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Kansas City Chiefs can't stop the run when they need to the most

Kansas City Chiefs run defense: Still a problem.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The box score will tell you the Kansas City Chiefs gave up 141 yards rushing in their loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. That was actually the Chiefs best effort since the Buffalo Bills game a month ago.

The Chiefs run defense, however, remains a problem.

The Chiefs gave up 100 yards on 19 carries to Kerwynn Williams. Don't feel bad if you're not familiar with his name. He was just called up from the Cardinals practice squad on Friday. These were his first carries in the NFL. The first two carries of the Cardinals second drive of the second half featured runs of nine and 15 yards from Williams to put the Cardinals in field goal range. The Cardinals scored a touchdown to Jason Brown instead (which had its own issues).

Cardinals running back Stepfan Taylor ended with just 19 yards rushing. But 18 of those came on three runs on the Cardinals first drive which pushed them into field goal range.

Some other numbers:

  • The Cardinals were ranked last in the NFL in yards per carry entering this game.
  • The Cardinals had 18 first drives in the game. Seven of those came from the running game.
  • The Chiefs run defense numbers in the last four weeks: 141, 214, 179, 204.
  • The Chiefs run defense had four games under 100 yards rushing in the first half of the season but none since Week 8.

The most frustrating part of the day came on the Cardinals final drive (before the kneel down). The Cardinals went to Williams on seven of their final eight plays and he helped eat up over three minutes of clock.That gave the Chiefs just over a minute to work with which obviously wasn't enough. When the Chiefs needed it the most, they couldn't stop the run.